The overshadowed Andre Ethier

© Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers at Brewers, 5:10 p.m.
Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
James Loney, 1B
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Chris Capuano, P

If it weren’t enough that Andre Ethier’s super April has been overshadowed by Matt Kemp, then how frustrating was it that his latest feat — a two-out, two-run homer off Francisco Rodriguez to give the Dodgers their 4-3 lead Tuesday — fell by the wayside when Javy Guerra couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom of the ninth?

So let us take a moment to celebrate, as Kemp is doing in the photo above, Ethier’s super start. He has a .383 on-base percentage and .738 slugging percentage. He is seventh in the National League in adjusted OPS. Yeah, we’ll take that.

Against left-handed pitchers — the big concern going into 2012 — Ethier is 4 for 13 with a double, triple, two walks and two strikeouts. He has eight RBI in 15 plate appearances. Last year, he had 13 RBI with seven walks and 41 strikeouts in 151 plate appearances against lefties.

Ethier and Kemp, by the way, have the most RBI of any duo in their first 11 games since Bob Meusel and Lou Gehrig of the 1927 Yankees, according to STATS LLC.

  • Anonymous

    If you asked who led the AL in home runs as a Yankee, I am sure you would eventually get all the right names, the hardest might be Bob Meusel who led the AL as a Yankee in 1925 with 33.

  • Anonymous

    “Ethier and Kemp, by the way, have the most RBI of any duo in their first 11 games since Bob Meusel and Lou Gehrig of the 1927 Yankees, according to STATS LLC.” – That is just amazing.

    • Anonymous

      Indeed.  Especially since Meusel wasn’t the RBI machine that another teammate was.  Meusel had 14 RBI in the first 11 games, and finished the season with 103; Ruth had 2 RBI in the first 11 games, and finished with 164.  (Gehrig had 20 in the first 11 games, and finished with 175.)

    • Anonymous

      That makes it even more interesting to ponder what one more bat—-say an excellent hitter playing third base, would make out of this years team!

  • http://twitter.com/CTincognito Corey Incognito

    The Javy Guerra. Indeed.

  • Anonymous

    We need at least a third or probably a fourth bat from  the team to try to keep up with their pace. (BTW – I like todays lineup – if Uribe can’t perform he should sit for a bit)
     

    • Anonymous

      The problem is that Hairston is no prize at the plate, either.  And neither is Tony Gwynn.

      • Anonymous

        True, but at least for them expectation is less, so there is less disapointment all round if they fail to deliver!

  • Anonymous

    Anyone have an update on how Jerry Sands in doing in Albuquerque?

  • Anonymous

    Sands batting 220

    • Anonymous

      Yes, with 2 HR and a not-so-great OPS of .688  Van Slyke, OTOH, is mashing, hitting .412 with 3 HR and an OPS of 1.197  So is Castellanos, who has been playing second base; he’s hitting .364 with 2 HR and an OPS of 1.207  Full ‘topes stats are at http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&cid=342&stn=true&sid=t342

      • Anonymous

        Thanks for the link.

  • Marcos Vargas

    Does it bother anyone like it bothers me that A.J. Ellis, with his OBP, is consistently batting before the pitcher.  Why place a guy who is likely to work a BB in front of a batter who is unlikely to move him over without giving up an out (sac bunt at best)?  I keep thinking I’d have him bat in the 2 or 6 spot.

    • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

       Silly rabbit. Don’t you know catchers ALWAYS hit eighth, unless they’re Johnny Bench? ;)

      • Anonymous

        Or that Italian guy the Dodgers used to have.  Friend of the Lasorda family as I recall.

        • Marcos Vargas

          Piazza or Lo Duca?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Steve Lyons seemed astonished last night by the fact that AJ Ellis has received 4 intentional walks and Kemp has had none. Duh Steve, Ellis is hitting before the pitcher and Kemp hits in front of Ethier (usually). 

      • Marcos Vargas

         BIG “Duh”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ernest-Joseph-Soto-Valenzuela/1642368493 Ernest Joseph Soto Valenzuela

    Seems like Loney is starting to come around. Hopefully he can sustain it. He can be that third bat we need. I know he won’t put up the power numbers of Kemp and Ethier, but he can be solid. Let’s go Loney!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

       betting and hoping that Loney will be the third best bat is hoping and betting to be a .500 team. 

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Time for Matty to work on the other side of the 50/50 quest equation. It currently looks very lopsided at 6/1.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Kemp singles in a run but is still in a 2 for 5 (.400) slump on the road trip.

  • Anonymous

    Lotta praise for Bison and Dre by Brewer announcers.

  • Anonymous

    As good as the Capo looked handling Braun, When I saw the pitch Hairston struck out on, it was the first time tonight “overmatched” came to mind!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Hart just took a dose of his own medicine with an extra base hit off the right fielder’s glove. Though our speedster Ellis got three bags off of him.

  • Anonymous

    They gave Hart a double for that routine fly bouncing off Ethier’s glove?  If Capuano wasn’t already a worthless cause, I’d be upset.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1734996240 Jose Reyes

    Can AJ ellis teach Dee better plate discipline?

    • Anonymous

      Sure wish someone would…

      • Anonymous

        Lorenzo Bundy?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Seems like Dee keeps going after those breaking balls down and in and looking quite silly in the process. He might want to take a few of those.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

       Dee will lead baseball in outs made this year. And I am ok with it. But I hope Kasten is looking to add a few hitters just as soon as he can.

  • Anonymous

    Well we knew we would have some unfortunate luck at some point.

  • Anonymous

    Greinke making Dee look ridiculous tonight.. joins Loney under the Mendoza line. Bottom of the line-up pounds out a run though… Come on Cap/pen, let’s make it hold.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t come up with one reason why Rivera should enter the game as a replacement for Gwynn in the 7th, especially when Gwynn’s spot is up 9th.  Unless TG got hurt.  Which I guess would be one reason.

    • Anonymous

      Ahem.  Looks like I was temporarily blinded by our incomparable away-game television broadcast team’s failure to consider that maybe it was part of a double switch.  Apologies.

    • Anonymous

      I think Matty wanted a more reliable RBI producer in the lineup

  • Anonymous

    bh pointed out that Meusel led the AL in HR’s in 1925, he also led that year in RBI’s with 138. Ruth didn’t play until June that year. In 1921, Meusel led the AL in K’s with 88. That was just his second season. He cut down on his strike outs to never be higher than 58 until his final season 1930 with the Reds. Ruth’s highest K total was 93 in 1923 which led the AL.

  • Anonymous

    This day in baseball
    1939 – Announcer Red Barber calls the action in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 7 – 3 loss to the New York Giants, marking the first time a regular season Brooklyn game is broadcast on the radio.t could not listen to the Boston Red Sox away game. The owners’ argument-”they won’t come to the park if you give the game away”-was invalidated under this arrangement. The New York owners went one step further: in 1932 they agreed to ban all radio broadcasting-even of visitors’ re-creations-from their parks. Larry MacPhail took over the Cincinnati Reds in 1933 and sold a controlling interest in the club to Powel Crosley, owner of two Cincinnati radio stations. It was a match made in economic heaven: MacPhail knew that broadcasting games would promote the team and Crosley could now boost his radio ratings. Their symbiosis is reminiscent of St. Louis beer-garden magnate Chris von der Ahe’s takeover of the St. Louis team in order to sell more beer. When MacPhail moved to Brooklyn in 1938, he brought Reds announcer Red Barber with him and broke the New York radio ban. The next year was the first year that all the major league teams broadcast their games 

  • Anonymous

    Anyone notice that Jansen isn’t hitting the high 90′s this season?

    • Anonymous

      Still, with what 13ks in 8 innings, according to Brewer announers.

  • Anonymous

    He’s been pretty effective, but his stuff doesn’t seem the same. That fastball to Hart was the best I’ve seen this season.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t recall the Dodgers using a 5-man infield in my history with them. And that’s a long time.

    • Anonymous

       Does the 2008 Bosox exhibition game at the Coliseum count?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Let it be noted that I’m agreeing with Steve Lyons right now. 

    • Anonymous

      I am listening to Brewers announcers.  But can’t figure out what Donnie was trying to do.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Not a great throw by Kemp, but man, to lose two games in a row by an eyelash at home. 

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Last night was more like by a nose, tonight was by an eyelash (if at at all).

    • Adam Luther

      Dodgers are a threat.  Win tomorrow, then two of three in Houston and it’s a .500 trip.

  • Jibin Park

    Weak throw. Weak tag.

    • Anonymous

      Kemp did a lot of looping around out there trying to line himself up for the throw and wound up with zilch on it.

  • Anonymous

    Got him! (too bad ump didn’t think so).

  • Anonymous

    Jon — please get over to Fan Graphs and start making a case this game should be replayed from that point since DiMuro blew that call. Clear tag on the rear before he rolled over the plate.

  • Adam Luther

    Kemp didn’t set himself up properly on the catch which had a direct effect on the subsequent throw, as described by fellow CF’r Monday.  Caught it over the wrong shoulder and threw off the wrong foot.  

  • Anonymous

    He was clearly out.

  • Jibin Park

    Looked like he got him on the tag in slo-mo, but it still looked like a half-hearted throw.

    • Anonymous

      Looked out to me in live action as well.  Sure it was a full-hearted throw, just poorly executed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGJN4PYDJLDR3O2PSOU3PSVJ6Q Michael

    Heartbreaker…AGAIN!!! Had Kemp gotten behind the ball I think he would have made a better throw to the plate. Seemed like he was lost for a second as to where it would fall. Overall, I think Capuano should be commended for his outing. He kept us in the game and his only mistake was the blast fed to Ramirez.

    • Anonymous

      I think Kemp just didn’t think there was any way Morgan would try to go. Seemed like he was just giving it the ‘ol let me get it in quick. Bummmmmmmer!

  • Anonymous

    I’m waiting for the write-up to see if there is the well deserved scathing criticism of Kemp’s horrendous, pathetic, embarrassing, little league toss to home.

    • Anonymous

      Larry Bowa, stop using Artieboy’s login!

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter how atrocious the throw was, the ball was in A.J Ellis’ glove in time to record the out. The tag was horrible as well, and the umpire blindly blew the call.

      • Anonymous

        If he makes the proper throw then MAYBE the ump doesn’t blow the call.  MAYBE it’s an easier play for both Ellis and the umpire.

        My point is that Kemp is supposed to charge that ball and throw with his momentum behind him.  That is the proper way to make the throw home.

  • Anonymous

    Baseball-wise, a couple of great games (so much so that I didn’t mind the seemingly inappropriate celebrations by the Brewers).

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Yeah, I was honestly feeling, when it looked certain Brewers were going to win in 10th, you know what, two close games that could’ve gone either way, tough pitching matchups, Dodgers pitched well in both (bullpen + Capuano pitched really well today), if they lose ‘em so be it. Of course that was before the call at home plate which made it suddenly painful even after I’d prepared.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    That play at the plate, called safe, looks out:http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/7417/tonyplushdeadathome.jpg  (Thanks to Dave Young.) 
    Padres fans can thank karma, no longer whine. I’m sure Fangraphs will post an article calling for re-do of the inning, right Jon? ;)

    • Anonymous

      Wow!  How did the ump miss that? He is standing right there.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      No, but it just shows how silly Dave’s tirade about the integrity of the pennant race was. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U3DPMRWHEJOLO4JUFORAC5VFLI Josh

     Maybe a little karma coming back for the win we got against San Diego on Sunday.

    Leadoff walk from Guerrier inexcusable.

    Horrible throw by Ellis to allow Morgan to take 3rd beyond inexcusable.

    Kemp did not line up that ball correctly to make his best throw to the plate.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT